Hands up who knows what a brand is? Well, there are lots of so-called definitions, bu the CIM defines a brand as having the following criteria –
Clarity of perception
You must have to stand for something – a USP with which your company is associated and which make up your property. Your USP must underline everything you do and say. Once you’ve established this, you use it in all your communications.
A positive perception
Yes, I know this might sound obvious, but have you checked that your USP is both unique and appealing…or even accurate?! Too often I have seen that the claim doesn’t actually produce the anticipated perception among the intended prospects. Be bold, give the prospects something to hang their hats on!
A level of differentiation
Bath Marketing Consultancy is constantly asked for the work we do for our client to be “different” from what else is on the market. Differentiation can be very subjective, but the questions to ask yourself is, is my offer clearly distinctive? Really try to avoid being bland or boring or worse still, indistinguishable from the competition.
Reach (or spread)
When actively marketing your company, your aim should be to get the maximum number of prospects for the minimum expenditure. Using multiple initiatives should mean trying hard not to overlap. Instead, your marketing should aim to extend your reach using different media.
What we advocate is standing back and taking a look at yourself – you are a brand in a highly competitive market.
Do not feel ashamed to ask for help!
“I want to re brand my business” is a statement I have had thrown at me quite a lot recently by companies who contact Bath Marketing Consultancy.
“Why do you want to…?” is what I throw back…….
Boredom not a reason for a re brand
The answer I generally receive is that “it is about time” or “I want a new logo” or maybe even “I am bored of the way my company looks.” In my opinion, none of these answers is a proper reason for a re brand and actually, explaining to people what a complete re brand involves i.e the work and the potential costs, timescales etc quite often leads to a swift change of mind by the person I am meeting!
What I want to get across is that, just changing your logo and/or you corporate literature and/or website does not classify a “re brand.” To me, an organisations’ brand goes far deeper than the way it presents itself or the colour of its logo. A brand is all about your personality as a business and is made up of a number of different elements which I have covered in a previous article. Establishing a brand can take decades and making changes to a brand is not something I would to do without some serious thought.
Yes, there are specialist brand agencies out there who will meet the brief of a re brand and charge you a small fortune, but the vast majority of the businesses Bath Marketing Consultancy works with are small to medium enterprises and this means that budgets are very rarely huge and therefore, spending money on “marketing” is a decision that the business owner will not take lightly. I more often than not advise organisations on modernising their look in line with recent upgrades in areas like fonts or a change in industry standard website settings; a sort of evolution rather than a revolution, but very rarely have I come across a business large or small that really needs to re brand.
Yes, I work with a number of start ups who come to me to come up with and launch their brand, which is a very different kettle of fish, but, if you are a business owner and think you need to “re brand” your business, don’t make knee-jerk decisions about your business and the way it looks and operates. Give real thought as to why you want to do it and what the potential outcome could be; talk to your existing customers……and maybe then bring in an expert in this area.
Whether you want them to or not, it is highly likely that your business is associated with certain characteristics. It is therefore, up to you to ensure that your customers remember these characteristics for the right reasons.
They must remember your quality as a business and/or the range of benefits that sets you apart from the competition. If people do not associate you with
anything memorable or particular, your business will be part of the sea or mediocrity where a high amount of other businesses can be found.When you or what you are doing is outstanding or different, the media will pick up on it; sometimes without any effort from you.
Don’t forget that placing loads of emphasis, resources, money and energy on your logo will not make your business stand out. You need to have a distinctive product or service. Logos and slogans can help, but are no substitute for a genuine USP. Once you have done this, you can even “own” your colour or slogan such as the red in Coca-Cola!With the foundations laid, it is time to reach out to your customers…….